Athens, 25 January 2005
“EU Commissioner Viviane Reding
advocate for European Union ICT & Media
visits Athens, Greece with her new vision of convergence”
H.E.M. Viviane Reding, European Union Commissioner of the Information
Society and Media visited Athens on 24th January 2005 for an official
luncheon. Her hosts included: Mr. Athanasios Papadropoulos, Honorary
President of the Association of the European Journalists, Mr.
John Taloumis, CEO of 3NET Telecommunications, The Athanasios
Botsis Foundation for Promotion of Journalism and INADE –
Institute for the Development of Western Greece and organizers
Key points of Commissioner Reding’s convergence plan:
• She emphasized key
points in rolling-out her plan for ICT & Media convergence
during her presentation at the official luncheon. Her advocacy
for merging media, audiovisual and the information society policies
offers a fruitful foundation and the prospect for future synergies
that have yet to be exploited.
• For the first time,
Information Communications Technology and Media co-exist together
in the same European portfolio. Commissioner Reding’s portfolio
which includes almost a quarter of the total EU research spending
has led to huge successes such as the GSM and the Digital Video
• Her push for boosting
free market competition is justified by wanting to increase the
standard of living stimulated by productivity growth. ICTs are
important economic drivers. Investments in ICT and technical progress
accounted for about 40% of EU labor productivity over the second
half of the 90’s and 60% in the US. Recent evidence suggests
that Europe’s gap with the US is largely linked to the production
and diffusion of the ICTs. The size of the sector has doubled
since the early 90’s achieving 8% of GDP in 2000. The ICT
productivity sector accounts for 18% of overall European R&D
• A focus to continue
to stimulate growth of the ICTs and Media will be through the
EU Research Framework Program and a New Regulatory Framework.
The framework program will encourage, promote, assimilate and
exploit technological advances while the new regulatory infrastructure
will enhance competition and development in the eCommunication
areas via broad band infrastructure (an area which Greece lags
greatly behind) and policies such as eEurope and Television without
• Her next step is the
design of a global post eEurope 2005 Strategy which will take
us to 2010. The initiative will be revealed in May 2005.
In concurrence with Commissioner
Reding, Mr. Taloumis, CEO of 3NET Telecommunications, emphasizes
the necessity to accelerate broad band infrastructure in Greece.
He also advocates a “tax-free status for all broad band
products and services to encourage broad band in Greece”
He believes the eTrends for the next five years will include but
not limited to, will be “eEducation and eHealth and eAccess
to the work place for all citizens”.
Coordinator and host, Mr. Athanasios
Papadropoulos, and General Secretary of Research and Technology,
Mr. John Tsoukalas from the Ministry of Development offered an
introductory foreword at the luncheon and Mr. Spryos Avarkitois,
President of the Botsis Foundation honored Commissioner Reding
for her contribution to Europe.
About Commissioner Reding
Mrs. Viviane Reding, a Luxembourg national, obtained a Doctorate
of Human Sciences from Sorbonne, Paris. A Journalist by profession,
she served as President of Luxembourg Union of Journalists from
1986-1998. In 1979, she became a Member of the European Parliament.
In 1999, she was appointed as EU Commissioner responsible for
Education, Youth, Culture, Sport and Media. As of 2004, she maintains
her appointment as European Commissioner responsible for Information
Society and Media. Awards include but not limited to are the 2001
Golden Medal of European Merit, 2004 Robert Schuman Medal and
Prince of Asturias International Cooperation Prize.
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